This sleeper hit has a little bit of everything.
Up until my Editor-in-Chief asked me to review Get Even, I had never heard of the game before. I then looked at a few screenshots of the game, saw it was a first person shooter, and said “Sure. I can do that.” What I didn’t know is that Get Even is way more than a first person shooter. In fact, that’s not even the main crux of the game. It is a story driven, psychological game full of questions, puzzles, and occasionally, some shooting segments. It has easily become a sleeper hit for me after taking it on.
Get Even has players controlling Cole Black, a mercenary of sorts who has lost his memories. He finds himself in a dilapidated insane asylum, being instructed by a voice on TVs who calls himself “Red.” Red tells him that he has actually come to this place from his own volition, and if he wants to get his memories back, he’s going to have to do what he says. So begins some of the most surreal, creepy, intense atmospheric storytelling I have seen in a while.
Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1
Price I’d pay: $29.99
While this is a game where the player will shoot guns through a first person perspective, it’s not entirely a first person shooter. There are elements of investigation, puzzles, stealth, and much more. It’s interesting just seeing how many aspects of the game there are. Before I get into what players can expect, I first need to tell you what happens to Black at the beginning of the game. Within the first hour, players discover that Black is in this asylum with other people. They are all wearing a special VR headset that can force them to see different things. On top of all that, it can be used to dive into the wearer’s brain and have them relive their memories. Think of it like an Assassin’s Creed Animus. This is where the levels come into play.
Each level is a memory of Black’s. They revolve around espionage and shady dealings, with each one shedding light on what has actually happened to Black and what he has done. These segments are mainly where the stealth and shooting come into play. Keep in mind, while they are just memories, actions the player takes can affect the memories, at least, according to Red, and of course, Red isn’t the most trustworthy person out there. It’s all depending on what the player chooses to do. It can have some pretty major or minor effects on the story or how something plays out.
When not in a memory, Black is traversing and investigating the asylum he’s locked in. This is where the puzzle elements come into play. Black has a cell phone that has multiple apps that can aid him in his investigations. He can scan an area for clues, use a UV light to see messages on walls, even a heat signature app that helps out in many different ways. It’s so interesting to see how the game utilizes puzzles and how to solve them using both the player’s intellect and the gadgets at Black’s disposal. The asylum is also where some of the best sound design and atmosphere occur. I’m talking I haven’t been more creeped out and immersed like this in years. The use of sounds and music is stellar and add so much to the overall game.
While I enjoyed my time with Get Even for the most part, it’s not all sugar and rainbows. There are a few performance issues here and there, mainly in the animation department. The game’s visuals are not the best in the world, and while the shooting is competent enough, after going through so many shooting segments, it gets a bit monotonous after a while.
At the end of the day, Get Even took me by surprise. I was expecting a standard FPS and what I got was a strange, intriguing psychological thriller that had just as many puzzles and investigation parts as it did shooting and stealth parts. The storytelling is superb and the overall design is something to really take a look at. At $30, I’d say you can’t go wrong with Get Even. It has really jumped up there in my best sleeper hits list and I suggest people really check it out if they’re looking for a good catalyst for storytelling.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.